Breaking News Bar

'The end of an era': Legendary coach Bob Dallas passes away at 90

  • Coach Bob Dallas

    Coach Bob Dallas
    Courtesy of Cox & Son Funeral Home

By Travis DeNeal and Michael Dann
updated: 12/6/2018 2:14 PM

Bob Dallas, whose coaching career spanned 40-plus years and included a Class A state title with Ridgway High School in 1973, passed away Wednesday.

Dallas was 11th on the state's all-time wins list among Illinois prep basketball coaches, according to the Illinois High School Association. He was 90.

Dallas worked the sidelines for 46 years and closed out his career with an overall record of 772-402. He's also 10th on the list of most wins at a single school with 733. He coached the Ridgway Eagles to the Class A state title in 1973.

It is Dallas' drive to win many will remember, according to one of his former players. Martin Duffy of New Haven says "Dallas" and "winning" were synonyms.

"I guess the thing about Bob Dallas that sticks out in everyone's mind is what a winner he was. He had a winning mentality," said Duffy, who was a member of the 1973 state championship team. "He would go to extremes when it came to preparation. And, he always gave his teams an opportunity to win."

Dallas also was known for running a tight ship, Duffy said.

"He was known for discipline, which as a 16- or 17-year-old, you might not have liked," Duffy said. "But as you aged, you realized that when he was cussing you up he was helping you realize everything was not going to be given to you. It was a gift he gave us all."

The Ridgway, Shawneetown and Equality districts merged into the Gallatin County school district in 1987, and Dallas was named the Hawks' head coach.

Dallas coached 14 years at Gallatin County High School and went 215-139, finishing with a winning percentage of .607 when he stepped away after the 2000-2001 season.

Duffy said with Dallas' passing, an significant chapter in high school basketball has closed.

"My first thought when I heard he died was, it was the end of an era. He created that era coaching high school basketball, with his coaching and teaching abilities," Duffy said. "He's going to be missed by an awful lot of people."